Before we had kids, one of the jobs we had was in Southern Utah as a rural doctor /nurse team. Yup, I was my husband’s nurse and we loved it! One of the towns we worked in was Moab, Utah. One day a week we would immediately take off from the clinic after closing for a new hiking adventure before darkness hit.
Knowing we wanted kids in our future, we feared our adventure-seeking-days would come to end, or at least, drastically change. I have always been so eager to bring my boys back to this place that has a special place in my heart. Having two boys under two years old, is not easy, and this trip would prove that (but it’s not like anyone needs a trip to prove that point)! Here’s our first Moab adventure with the kids:
We ended up leaving leaving our city two hours past our goal time. I think it had something to do with my kids unpacking all the bags I kept packing. We made one scheduled stop once we hit the road to drop our dog off at the sitters and that’s where the trouble began (or did it begin before we left?). Our toddler projectile vomited once we pulled up to the sitters house. I ended up having to go back to her door and apologize that there was vomit all over her driveway (but even more in my car). 1st pajama and blanket change done. Car cleaned with baby wipes!
OK, it was now after 8pm and I still hadn’t eaten dinner. So my husband drove me to a little sandwich shop and then we got back on the road. We had made it to the next county when my son starting coughing like he was going to vomit again. Being proactive, I had grabbed a cup from the sandwich joint to catch any subsequent vomiting that might occur during the trip. I turned around and held the cup by his face. “No!” said my toddler gently, but firmly shaking his head. “OK,” I said, and turned back to face forward in my front seat. AND THEN, BLAHHHHH! Vomit! But not just a little, seeing that he already threw up everything earlier. A LOT! He projectile vomited, again! So we pull over to a gas station after getting off the freeway. I take him to the gross bathroom and try to wash him with the foam soap and tiny sink. There are no paper towels, just the hand-dryers, so I’m left toilet paper. Sigh. 2nd pajamas and blanket change done. Car cleaned with baby wipes! One set of pajamas left. Out of blankets.
We arrive to the hotel! It’s only almost 2am, but we are there. The boys are asleep. My husband and I each take a child and try to ever so gently and quietly transfer them to our room. I went up beforehand and got the room ready (white noise on, crib in the bathroom, etc.). BUT…they both woke up by the time we got to the room upstairs. The rest I’m not going to go into detail about, but let’s just say, we were pretty much up All. Night. Long. Our kids don’t sleep in foreign beds and places, or I should say, we don’t know how to train them to do that…yet!
That morning, my husband in a serious face and voice asked if we should just go home. I recognized he had to be more tired than I was, but selfishly said, “No, we’re here. Let’s make the most of today and reevaluate tonight.” We both agreed. And began our day.
Arches National Park was our plan for our quick 2 day weekend. This is quite a popular park. In fact, it took us nearly 45 minutes just to enter the park in our car. Knowing it would be a busy weekend, we decided to pick a trail that was a little more difficult to get to in hopes of avoiding the crowds. We enjoy NOT seeing people on our hikes! This required getting off the main, paved road and onto a bumpy dirt road and driving for 8 miles.
Feeling energized somehow, we excitedly hit that trail, just not running. It wasn’t well marked, but we are avid hikers, right, so we weren’t worried. We found ourselves hiking up some pretty steep terrain, and eventually being unable to find the trail after hiking for an hour. Neither of us were worried because we knew how to get back. We did however, see a ranger’s truck in the far off distance, and decided to continue bushwhacking it to his truck. Once we got to him, he already knew we were lost, embarrassingly. We received some instruction on how to continue onto another trail that would get us back to our original trail and went on our way. About 30 minutes into that new trail, we recognized this weather was just too brutal for our two boys at such a young age, so we turned around, hoping the ranger would still be there. And HE WAS thankfully, because now my husband & I were exhausted, too! He was so kind and offered to give us a ride back to our car. Long story short, we hiked Arches WITH KIDS, even if only for a few hours dangit!
Our trip home wasn’t nearly as exciting as the drive down. And life continued on after it took us a week to recover!
HIKING CARRIERS AND BACKPACKS
We have purchased several different kinds of baby and toddler carriers, trying to find what works best for us. What I found is, it all depends on the weight of your child, how long you’ll be wearing it, and where. We actually used three different carriers on this trip. But this was the first time I tried the Toddler Hiking Carrier found here. It was great for the shorter hikes where my toddler wanted to jump on and off my back and the trails weren’t too steep. He had fun being at a higher point of view and even thought it was funny at times (imagine hearing random giggling). We love that it even has a hydration system in it for him!